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I have a general rule about buying fish at PetSmart. Never do it. Three times now, I have bought fish from two different PetSmarts in two states (West Virginia and Iowa) and all three times the new fish brought ick into my tank and killed the fish. This most recent time, my boyfriend bought 4 fancy goldfish (approx. $30) from PetSmart in Davenport, IA and gave them to me as a gift. Within a week, one of them showed symptoms of ick. I treated them all but the sick one did not improve. He died and I put him back in the original bag from the store and took him to try and get my boyfriend's money back.

Their "no hassle" return policy must be called that because it is no hassle for the store to refuse returns without a receipt...but they don't offer gift receipts. So if you receive something from PetSmart as a gift, you are stuck with it until it dies. I should add here that though I did not have a receipt, I did have the original bag in which the fish were packaged that had the date, SKU and price for each fish on it. [To add insult to injury, the cashier who informed me of the need for a receipt showed absolutely no sign of sympathy for the fact that I had lost a pet. In fact, her insistence on seeing a receipt was so aggressive, I left the store feeling more upset than when I arrived.]

Now, almost five weeks from the original purchase date, I am still treating the tank for ick because every time I change any of the water, it returns. It claimed another goldfish this morning, and the other two are symptomatic. The original fish in the tank, a bristlenose pleckostomus, is nocturnal so I haven't been able to check and see if he is symptomatic.

Review about: Petsmart Cashier.

Monetary Loss: $30.

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im in Oklahoma and had the same issue and i am currently battling it as well with two casualties, a neon tetra and the rubberlip pleco that infected my tank. not happy and the store leader has not written me back after initial contact and im still waiting to hear from corporate.


I wish I had read this sooner. My husband recently bought a fish from Petsmart and it was fine for a couple days then it died all of a sudden.

Shortly after that one of my own fish died as well. Today another fish died. The first thing that came to mind was that Petsmart had sold my husband a sick fish and it contaminated the ones I already had.

This is so frustrating because my other fish were big and healthy. Petsmart shouldn't sell fish if they don't know how to care for them properly.


Same thing happened to me. I inherited an aquarium when my Uncle passed away in July.

He had gotten it from my grandma passing away in 2007. My grandma got it in 1998. 2 bala sharks, a 1 eyed angel fish, and a pleco were ORIGINAL FISH, when I got the tank. 19 year old fish!

So I've known and been around them almost my entire life (I'm 26). These fish survived an hour and a half move when I got them, so theu were really hardy fish. I decided to add some more fish the first week of December. I got 2 algae eaters, as my pleco was to big to get in the small crevices.

I got 2 baby angel fish, and 2 baby bala sharks. The sharks started acting weird, so I took them back the same day. Everything was fine until last weekend. All of my fish started getting sick.

We thought it was ick, as the symptoms seemed right. Then, my bala sharks started getting bloody fins, and having what looked like seizures. We immediately tested the water. It was perfect.

We rushed to the store and bought broad spectrum medicine. By the next day, all my fish died. I was devastated. We emptied the tank, bought all new gravel, hoses, filter media, a new heater, ect.

We purchased safe start, and went to petsmart to get a few starter fish (at this time, I didn't think it was the petsmart fish). We get there, and there are signs on half of the tanks, saying the fish were sick. The associate said we could get the fish in the tanks without signs. HOWEVER, I know that petsmart uses one big, main filtration system, so those other fish are also contaminated.

I mentioned what happened to my aquarium, and she was like "oh yeah, I'm sure our fish is what killed your tank. We can talk to a manager for replacements". I can't replace 19 year old fish!!! Not only that, your fish are all contaminated.

No way do I want more fish from there (at least that particular petsmart). It was a devastating loss, and the associate acted like it was no big thing.


At least you didn't fork out $60 for medications that turned the water a bright color which added visual drama to the tank die-off.


UGGGHH...I wish I had read this before buying six neon tetras from Petsmart last week. I had a litter of beautiful guppies for about a year in two 36 gallon clean established tanks (one with males and the other with females).

There were only twelve males so my husband kept asking if we could add different fish. I had to stop at Petsmart for water conditioner so I picked up a school of tetras while I was there.

First of all, the woman who took the fish out of the tank KILLED one in the process by squishing it against the tank with the net. Then she dropped on on the floor! I was disgusted by the time I left.

Within a week ALL of my guppies (which were perfectly healthy prior to adding the new fish) were dead and covered with white fungus. I find it very difficult to believe that this is a coincidence. My water was perfect and I keep my tanks clean. I've NEVER had a massive die-off in all the years I've been keeping and breeding my fish.

I'm so angry and sad. I went into the store where I bought the fish and the teenage girl working in the fish department (the woman who sold me the fish was working the cash register that night) could not care less when I told her what happened. She just said they've had no problems in the store with any disease.

Before I left I looked at the tetra tank: There were two sick looking fish moping around the once-full tank. SMH

to Anonymous #1362813

Omg I'm glad I read this. I had a beautiful female betta for 2 years and I recently bought her a 10 gallon tank and a 6 neon tetras because I read they can be kept with bettas.

Anywho, once I acclimated the tetras and introduced then to my tank I thought everything was fine. The next day 1 of the tetras was dead and my betta started to form some weird white fungus on her lip. I bought a bacteria treatment at petsmart to treat what I thought was cotton mouth. I quarantined my betta and the tetras fish separately to treat them.

Next day (today) my betta is dead :( the white fungus stuff covered her entire mouth and gills. I'm devasted.


I've been dealing with camalanus worms. A gift from Petsmart after I just put down all my fish.

Bleached my tank and everything. Then tonight I found out my new veiltail angel, that I'd had for about two months, has about six camalanus worms! JEEZ. Never buying from them again.

It's not like I can "tell" at the store if their fish have the worms.

It has a month long cycle and they usually only come out at night. I am SO mad right now!

Aberdeen, Maryland, United States #935608

I am having the same issue. I had 4 cherry barbs and an albino Chinese algae eater in my 20 gallon tank prior to adding the 4 platys, and they did great.

It has been about a week since I have added the 4 platys, and now I have a MASSIVE outbreak in ich... I am so tired of Petsmart, but because of Petsmart. All of the local fish stores have left town.

The closest one to me is about 1.5 hours away in Lancaster, PA.. UGH..

El Paso, Texas, United States #884804

I had an established tank months ago and brought in two petsmart fish and very fish in my tank died in a week. I reset up my tank got two fish and they did great.

Got three platy fish from petsmart and within two days had ick again. I'm about done with keeping fish at this rate.


You have to bleach your tank that is the only way to get rid of ick


Yep dealing with the same problem now --- have had the same 4 fish in my tank for over a year - decided to buy 4 new little guys and now 2/4 of my old fish have ICK --- and of course pet smart wants a water sample and duh it's gonna say it's ICK - no kidding it's from your fish !!!!!!!!!!

Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States #789505

Same here, after quarantine even, all fish are dead or dying as I type this...not happy AT ALL! :(


You are too stup!d to follow your own rule. Therefore, it's your fault. STFU already, whiner.


The problem is they can't quaranteen their fish properly due to the volume they do and the fact their tanks water systems are all tied together.....Ich is always present in their system.

Chicago, Illinois, United States #769712

I had the same problem. Two times now I've bought mollies from Petsmart and within a week, not only did they die from ick, but they killed my other fish, too.

This most recent time I had one platy swimming happily around for a little less than a year. Then, the week I bring home the new molly, they both get ick and die...

I change the water properly, add water purifiers and antifungals, and feed the fish the appropriate diet with no problems.

Only when a new friend comes along from Petsmart does everyone get sick and die. No more Petsmart fish for me.


... after keeping fish for awhile I am realizing most people just dont know what theyre doing.

Pets mart doesnt exactly give you good advice either.

Read forums and understand the cycle of nitrification, I wouldnt blame op or call them *** but fish dont just swim around happily at the store and then die a day after you move them because they were sick all along. Chances are you didnt acclimate them properly or your tank was not cycled


I just got a beta fish from pet smart and at first I didn't notice but then I saw that his fins were tattered and they had deteriorated a little. I did some research, and found out he had mild to moderate fin rot.

I know that my water didn't give it to him because I hadn't put him in his tank yet, I had just gotten him.

He is recovering now as he is on Maracyn two, but also, when I went to get the medicine, I noticed that some of the other fish's water was extremely cloudy. :eek :cry

San Juan, Texas, United States #709717

Bought a black moor goldfish at Pets Mart was doing so good until i decided to buy 2 more goldfish there at PetsMart not the same but diffrent kind 3 days pass one of them got the desease ick went to go buy the medicine pour some in like the instrcutions said 24hrs. Passed one died next day my black moor and the other goldfish died...

everytime i go see what they have new theres always dead fish in the aquariums and we tell them and they just say "it was alive this morning i dont know what happen." And im like really this ppl that work there dont seem to care that much. Very pissed off im done with having fishes...

Vancouver, Washington, United States #701047

Petsmart should have healthier fish and take responsibility. The same thing happened to me.

Brought guppies home, and within 24 hours mostly all my fish were all dead from fin rot or something worse. After spending over $10 on medication (that didnt work) finally bought aquarium salt and managed to save one.

They would not take the fish back without the dead bodies. Even though I had a receipt.

AND THEN they admitted they they 'got a bad batch of fish' because they're 'getting a lot of returns'. Still would not apologize or replace the 5 guppies.

Also emailed Petsmart about this and they never returned my email.

Bad customer service. I shop at Petco now.

Gurnee, Illinois, United States #619912

I have had my fish tank for more than 12 years. I had gone the past 6 years without having to buy fish, I knew how to take care of them.

Bought three new fish from Petsmart to add to my tank, and ALL of my fish are dead, the petsmart fish introduced Ick to my tank and killed my 6" catfish, 10" loach, and several black skirt tetras. I've discovered the necessity of a quarantine tank too late, I've given up on the aquarium, the loss of my fish was not something I'd like to repeat.

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